Thursday, August 21, 2014

Cry It Out

I know the title of this post probably makes some people cringe.  There are many opinions on crying it out and like everything else with raising babies, it is all what is best for your family and your baby.

At Gavin's 6 month appointment we discussed with our pediatrician how frequently Gavin is waking for a feeding at night (remember, he is formula fed).  I picture Dr. S slowly turning around in his chair, haha.  He told us that nutritionally, Gavin does not need those night time feedings, and likely he was waking out of habit.  So I asked, to be clear, "We could let him cry it out, and he will be fine?  He isn't starving when he is in his crib screaming?"
Dr. S said, "No, he is definitely not starving. If this continues, he will become over weight."
To which I replied, "So, we can let him cry it out?"
"It is a personal preference, but he does not need those feedings, nutritionally."

Done.  That's all I needed to know.  He was fine without eating in the middle of the night.  Obviously, I would sacrifice my sleep if my child needed to eat.  While I'm super tired from getting up/waking up (when Carl does one of the feeds), I wasn't asking as a way to be able to get more sleep (that's just an added bonus).  And honestly, if Carl and I had just listened to his crying instead of jumping out of bed as soon as he started to cry, we would have been able to tell that it wasn't a "hunger" cry, it was an "I'm awake and I have no idea how to soothe myself to sleep" cry.

Dr. S also asked if Gavin was falling asleep to the bottle (before bed) or if we were putting him down awake.  We put him down awake and he goes to sleep on his own.  "That's half the battle and you've already done that part." That also made me feel pretty good.

Night one went something like this....
6:45- 2 ounces of food
7:00- bath, topical medicine, lotion
7:45- bottle
8:15- placed in crib awake on his belly, fell asleep on his own
10:15- woke up and cried for 20 minutes but went back to sleep
1:00- woke up again, cried for 20 minutes, I went in and rubbed his back for about 10 minutes, went back in my bed.  He cried for another 20 minutes, I did the same thing.  At some point I thought he had pooped, so I changed him (at this point he stopped crying and was just smiling and talking to me), then put him back in his crib on his back.  He was happy at first, then cried again.  The coming back in and rubbing of his back went on for THREE HOURS.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Three.Hours.  Again, it was not a hunger cry.  It was a "I cannot believe you are not picking me up" cry, which is why he stopped once I picked him up to change him.  Stinker!  I did not give in.  I did not give him a bottle to put him back to sleep.
4:00- FINALLY asleep
5:30- Woke up. I finally told Carl to get up and feed him.  Gavin didn't even finish the 4 ounces, which tells me he definitely wasn't that hungry.
6:00- Carl sat him on the bed next to me and Gavin poked me in the face until I opened my eyes and looked at him.  Then he smiled.  I'm not sure I wanted to be friends with him in that moment.

That day was a cup of coffee in the morning (wishing there was actually a coffee IV drip) and a Mt. Dew in the afternoon kind of day (and I'm not a soda drinker!).

Night two went something like this...
6:45- 3 ounces of food
7:10- bath, topical medicine, lotion (because that boy's eczema is finally starting to get under control!)
7:45- bottle
8:15- placed in crib awake on his belly, fell asleep on his own
10:15 (do you see a pattern here?)- woke up and cried for 20 minutes, but did not soothe himself back to sleep.  I went in, rubbed his back for maybe 5 minutes, and he went back to sleep.
3:00- woke up, cried for maybe 10 minutes, went back to sleep
3:30- woke up, cried for 20 minutes, I went in, rubbed his back for maybe 5 minutes, went back to sleep
6:25ish- woke up happy as can be.  Didn't even cry for a bottle.  He took one at about 6:40 and didn't finish all 4 ounces.

It was only a 1 cup of coffee day today.

Tonight is night three (I should probably go to bed!).  I'm hoping we are just going to be getting better and better.  Clearly, this child was not starving when he would wake up in his crying fit.  I know when he was younger he was obviously hungry, but if nutritionally he doesn't need it (and I definitely don't want him to become over weight), then we just needed to do a little sleep training.  We never had to do this with Hunter because he was sleeping through the night at 6 weeks (which I know is not the norm).  Each child is so different!

*Updated 08/29/2014*

Night 3 was the worst night.  He was up for another 3 hours and I was trying to soothe him.  Again, it was a very angry cry, not an "I'm hungry" cry.  Finally, at 4:30, I just fed him.  He then went back to sleep until 8.  After that night, Carl and I decided to not go in his room.  I think he was having a really hard time soothing himself when I was in there not picking him up.  Night 4, he cried probably 45 minutes, but went back to sleep.  Night 5, night 6, and night 7 he woke up 1 time with varying amount of crying, some nights it was 10 minutes or less and another was 20-30 minutes.  Night 8 he slept through the night!  Not one peep!  It was glorious!  About every other night he is sleeping through without making a peep and he is soothing himself to sleep within 20 minutes on the nights he does wake up.

I've now just jinxed myself.  He will be up like 3 times tonight.  All in the name of blogging, ha.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Gavin at 6 months

Half a year (on the 15th)?!  Seriously??  I cannot believe it!  This is going way too fast.  My baby is growing to be a big boy and I want it to slow down!!

At 6 months...
-You're sitting up unassisted.  After a while, you just fall over.  You haven't quite figured out how to get yourself out of sitting.  We are working on this.
-Your favorite person is still, hands down, Hunter.  You could watch him forever (except when you're hungry).
-You're still very hangry.  At least now we have a good schedule going and I can anticipate this.  You're getting solids 3x a day.  So far, you love bananas, apples, plums, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pears.  You're not a fan of peaches or green beans.  I've been mixing flavors together and you love it.
-You are in 12 month clothing.  I thought this was totally crazy, until I realized that Hunter was also in 12 month clothing at 6 months of age.
-You still don't care to roll.  You have done it, but you'd rather either stay on your back and go side to side to play with toys, or stay on your tummy (and then cry when you're finished).  I go through the motions with you so you continue to feel what you should be doing.
-Recently, when you've been on your tummy, you are trying to go forward.  Maybe this will prompt you to flip to your belly independently.  Probably not.
-You are still a big talker, screamer, and growler.  I've never heard a baby make so much noise!
-You have separation anxiety pretty bad.  If you don't notice we've left the room, you're fine, until we come back in and try to leave.  This makes cooking very tricky.
-You have two bottom teeth and I can feel a top one about to come through.  I love seeing your toothy smile!
-You still wake up 1-2x per night.  I don't know at what age babies start sleeping through the night, but I'm looking forward to that day for you!
-Your eczema is still bad, but has improved since starting solids.  This only makes me believe that you have a milk allergy versus a sensitivity.  We will see what dermatology says in two weeks.
-We've moved you to a "big boy" car seat.  That carrier is just too heavy now!

We went for his well visit today (19th).  He is 19 pounds, 4 ounces (80-85%ile) and 27.2 inches (80%ile).  We discussed his waking up frequently for a feeding at night.  Nutritionally, he does not need to eat in the middle of the night.  Dr. S assured us he is not "starving".  At 6 months they go through some sort of sleep disturbance/REM something (I didn't write it down).  This makes total sense because Saturday he started waking up every 2 hours.  I asked if we should let him cry it out, and he said that was our personal decision, but he did not NEED those feedings.  He also may have mentioned it could cause him to become over weight.  Soooo tonight we will do our version of cry it out.

Dr. S would also like us to keep our dermatology appointment (I was going to) because he would like them to see Gavin.  We have that next Wednesday.

He is not concerned that he isn't rolling around since he is doing so well sitting.  When we mentioned it, I'm pretty sure he said, "I don't care about that!  Look how well he is sitting.  He can obviously roll."

What I love the most about our pediatrician is that he spent probably a good 15-20 minutes discussing all sorts of things with us before he even started the exam on Gavin.  Our appointments never feel rushed  and I know I'll be able to get all the information I want and need before I leave.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


I can not express how grateful I am for this woman.  Not only is she one of my best friends (really, family), but she volunteered to watch Gavin on her 3 days off from work.  When she sent me that text, I cried.  Big, baby, hormonal tears.

I was so stressed as to where Gavin was going to go.  I wanted someone Carl and I both trusted, someone who would cloth diaper, someone who would do my homemade baby food, someone I felt comfortable saying, "Please do this.... please don't do this... etc.... etc."  I don't think I even had to say any of those things to Ashley, she just knew.

I knew Gavin was going to be loved, snuggled, and stimulated the way I would at home.  I didn't even cry dropping him off the first day (and I'm usually an emotional wreck going back to work after breaks or maternity).

Gavin can be pretty tough, but Ashley always made a positive out of it. "He just needed some extra snuggles today."  What every mom wants to hear!

Ashley, there are no words to express my gratitude for what you have done.  I don't think there is a way to repay you.  Gavin has grown and thrived so much in the last (almost) 6 months with you.  I will probably cry on our last day tomorrow.  Thank you again for all you've done, we love you!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Baby food

When I decided I was going to make Gavin's baby food, I didn't think I would actually enjoy the process.  I don't totally understand why I enjoy it.  Maybe it's because I know what's going in it.  Maybe it feels calming.  Maybe it's the satisfaction of the amount of food I can make with one "batch" of a food.  It's probably all of those reasons.  I really enjoy doing it!  Maybe I'm becoming a "crunchy" mom, haha.

I've made quite a few foods in a short period of time: avocados (once.. I'm not a good judge at when they are ready to be eaten), bananas, pears, peaches, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, green beans, and apples.  I still have carrots to make.  I try to make some each night or every other night, it doesn't always happen.

The only foods I've had to prepare before blending (so far) were sweet potatoes and butternut squash.  Those were both pretty simple, though.  The sweet potato I wrapped in foil and baked for an hour.  The butternut squash I cut in half, took out the seeds, then baked for 40 minutes.

Once the foods are cut up, they go into the magic bullet (thanks again Jess!).  It works its magic, and out comes smooth food.

Ashley has let me borrow what I assume is intended to be an ice cube tray, but it has been used as the perfect 1 ounce food measuring device.  I also have a 1/2 ounce ice cube tray from Ikea that I use in this process as needed.  I pour the food into the tray, then into the freezer it goes over night.  It then gets popped into a zip lock bag with a label.

This is how much I usually get from each:
-2 bananas makes about 6-8 ounces
-2 pears makes about 7 ounces
-1 sweet potato make 8-10 ounces
- 2 peaches makes 7 ounces
-1 butternut squash made 17 ounces
-1 bag of green beans (at least it wasn't in a can, lol) made 13 ounces
-3 apples made 16 ounces

The butternut squash impressed me the most!  I think that is a good amount of food (for all of them) for the cost of the produce, compared to the cost of the store bought food.  I feel like Suzy Homemaker.